JetBlue Founder David Neeleman: What Makes a Startup Soar?

19 Mar 2014

On Wednesday, March 19, 2014, JetBlue Airways founder, David Neeleman was our featured speaker.

Darien businessman and New Canaan resident David Neeleman, will share the principles and practices that enabled him to launch four successful airlines in succession. What lessons can be applied to start and expand other business?

Best known in the USA for founding JetBlue Airways in 1998, Mr. Neeleman started Azul Brazilian Airlines in 2008, the most-successful airline startup in history. Azul flew an unprecedented 2.2 million passengers in its first 12 months. Azul now has 9,700 employees and 830 daily flights to 103 destinations. Before JetBlue, Mr. Neeleman cofounded Morris Air in 1984, which was sold to Southwest Airlines, and cofounded WestJet in 1996, now the second-largest airline in Canada with 425 daily flights.

David Neeleman will talk about how innovation in each startup has repeatedly helped create win-win situations for crewmembers, customers, and shareholders, through the use of new technologies, methodologies, and improved ways of treating people. He will share how this process has enabled him to create thousands of fulfilling jobs, while providing customers with the best service at the lowest cost, often to new destinations, while creating new markets.

Mr. Neeleman will recount what led to his greatest successes and mistakes, the lessons learned, and why it has been so hard for competitors to copy him. Finally, he will discuss the challenges facing entrepreneurs when their companies mature, and what core principles apply to the successful launch and expansion of any new venture.

The presentation was followed by a business networking reception with refreshments.

This event is co-sponsored by the Darien Entrepreneurs Group (Jeffrey R. Wyant, President) and The Fairfield County Entrepreneurs Using Innovation for Success Meetup Group.


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